Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

Transportation

Transportation

  • honor essential

    Nurses and other essential workers need public transit (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    I am a lifelong New Yorker and public transit rider. In March, when so many of my friends, family, and neighbors stopped commuting, I kept traveling to work. I depend on a bus and two subways to get from my Queens home to the East Side of Manhattan hospital where I’m a pharmacist. 

    Like most people, I had never heard of “essential workers” before COVID-19. Everyone I knew got up and went to work regardless of what job they had. And thankfully, many I know

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  • marat mazitov henderson

    E-scooters in use (photo: Marat Mazitov)


    In June, the New York City Council signaled a major shift in policy when it voted to allow people to use e-scooters on city streets. The Council legalized the private use of e-scooters and e-bicycles across the city and announced plans for a shared e-scooter pilot program that will allow e-scooter companies to operate in all boroughs besides Manhattan.

    The timing could not be better. Workers, including health-care and delivery workers, require sustainable, flexible options for navigating around the city. As the

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  • 6 fewest traffic record

    Mayor de Blasio with NYPD transportation (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Streets and sidewalks make up a majority of New York City’s public space. Like the parks and open spaces that make up the rest of it, these spaces should serve a common good, accessible for all to travel, to play, and to protest without harm. But there is ample evidence that this is not a reality. 

    Consider what happened when Mayor de Blasio cracked down on social distancing last month. Nine out of ten arrested for walking, standing, or sitting too

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  • intervale ave bx

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

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  • welcomes ceremony bk

    NYC Ferry program could become more important (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    There’s no doubt we’ll see changes in almost every facet of our daily lives after the coronavirus pandemic, but perhaps none will be as dramatic as the answers to the question of how New Yorkers will move safely around the city, including in our travels back-and-forth to work. Studies show that even if we drastically reimagine our economy, roughly two-thirds of employees -- at the very least -- will still need to commute, and the subways have been the lifeblood of the

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  • covid 19 climate

    Mayor de Blasio aboard the ferry (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The coronavirus pandemic has led to plummeting ridership across the city’s various transit systems, posing an existential threat to the future of mass transit as the state and the city begin to cut costs and service. Among them, the New York City ferry, a signature initiative of Mayor Bill de Blasio, has seen far fewer commuters and a reduced schedule, but unlike a long list of other programs, the city does not plan to decrease its budget or scrap an expansion that is slated to take place this

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  • cycling covid

    Coronavirus has created a new cycling world (photo: NYC Department of Transportation)


    New York City has seen a spike in cycling since the beginning of the confirmed coronavirus outbreak here. With most New Yorkers staying off the subway to avoid the spread of the virus, some have sought new ways of getting around, whether to their jobs (before and, for fewer commuters, since the near-shutdown order from the governor) or to make essential trips for groceries or exercise. And there are, of course, those who use bikes for their work, with food delivery expected to spike

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  • car free open streets

    Car free day 2019 (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    The COVID-19 pandemic is posing an unprecedented challenge to New Yorkers. As we face this surreal moment together, we are also learning what it means to practice “social distancing” — and, inevitably, it has not gone perfectly. Case in point: we have taken to city parks in astonishing numbers, creating crowds and density that risk spreading the very virus we’re trying to fight.

    Is it possible for New Yorkers to maintain a safe distance and “...

  • commvoicesheard

    City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City doesn’t have a comprehensive plan for the future. There is no single guiding document that determines how housing will be built over the next decade, for example, overlaid with a strategy for meeting infrastructure needs like transit options and school seats, with unifying visions for social services and economic development. But such planning should exist, according to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who is making several moves toward the type of planning that has mostly

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  • dot taxi bike lane

    Image via NYC TLC training video


    Cyclist deaths plagued New York City last year; 2019 had the highest recorded number of such deaths in the last 20 years, and many street safety and cycling advocates have made an effort to raise awareness about the problem and

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  • bike riding new york city

    (photo: New York City Department of Transportation)


    One of the New York City Department of Transportation’s bicycling safety tips, “Watch out for car doors,” seems straightforward until a door unexpectedly opens and catapults you into oncoming traffic. Several of this year’s bicycling fatalities came from dooring incidents,

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  • queenslink rendering

    QueensLink rendering


    The Rockaway Beach Branch right-of-way is a 3.5-mile, skinny strip of land that holds the key to transforming our borough in two fundamental ways. First, it will connect north and south Queens with the rest of the city in an environmentally sustainable way. Second, it will create up to 33 new acres of park space adding value to local neighborhoods and the entire city.

    This dual-purpose project is called QueensLink.

    It was disappointing to read “...

  • mayorrockefeller

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    ‘Tis the season for improving public spaces.

    The 14th Street busway has been live for just over three weeks and the accolades are already enough to deem its opening as historic. New Yorkers are now seeking more innovative ideas to improve the pedestrian and commuter experience throughout the city. 

    With the holiday season approaching, we are hopeful that this embrace of open space can be adopted in Midtown. 

    Rockefeller Center is one of the centerpieces of Manhattan. Every year, the area

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  • city council co jo keynote address

    Speaker Johnson (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson is advancing his legislation to create a master plan for city streets, promising Thursday that the Council will vote on the bill this month.

    Johnson, a Democrat from Manhattan, first proposed the idea of creating a five-year plan for the city’s

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  • dot citi bikeride ues

    (photo: New York City Department of Transportation)


    New Yorkers across the city have reason to celebrate, with the news that the Citi Bike network is expanding to the Bronx and deeper into Brooklyn and Queens -- bringing the benefits of bike share to every corner of Manhattan and extending its reach into neighborhoods like Morrisania, Flatbush, and Jackson Heights.

    Citi Bike’s expansion into more communities of color not only represents a huge opportunity for improving New Yorkers’ lives; it will help set the tone for cities across the country and the

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  • speaker cojo

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    July 17, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Transit Organizing & the Future of the MTA

    john raskin wbaiJohn Raskin, founder and executive director of Riders Alliance, a transit advocacy group, joined the show to discuss his organizing work over the past seven years and the future of the MTA as he plans to depart the nonprofit after several major wins, including

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  • bx6 select bus inter ave

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Elected officials, advocates, and especially riders agree: the city’s bus system is broken.

    That consensus was reached in recent years as bus speeds slowed to a crawl and the system hemorrhaged ridership. Various advocacy groups and elected officials have put forth studies and plans, and the entities with actual control -- the state-run Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the New York City Mayor’s Office -- have taken steps toward improving the situation, though

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  • city council cojo work train

    Speaker Johnson on the train (photo: City Council's office)


    Imagine a New York where cars no longer rule the road, and pedestrians and cyclists reclaim dominance of the city’s public space. While a New York where cars don’t dominate the streets may seem like a fantasy, to City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, it is the future.

    In recent months, Johnson -- a Manhattan Democrat in his second year leading the 51-member City Council -- has gone full bore touting the idea of “breaking car culture,” or prioritizing pedestrians, cyclists,

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  • corey jo public

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    [Note: this hearing was indeed held on Wednesday June 12; this article is a preview of the hearing]

    On Wednesday, the New York City Council transportation committee will hold a hearing on a bill sponsored by Council Speaker Corey Johnson that would mandate the creation of a five-year “master plan” for city streets with a variety of specifications aimed at making the city more friendly to bikers and pedestrians, and less deferential to cars. If passed and implemented, the legislation would have a major impact on

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  • Vision Zero

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Soon after Mayor Bill de Blasio stepped into office in 2014, he championed Vision Zero, a signature street safety program with the goal of reducing traffic-related fatalities from 297 in 2013 to zero by 2024. About halfway through that ten-year timeline, the program has become a significant de Blasio success, even as some advocates and lawmakers have said the administration could and should be moving ahead faster to protect pedestrians and bikers, and limit deference to cars.

    Through increasing the number of protected bike

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  • Cuomo Penn Station

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    For decades, Penn Station has wreaked havoc on the lives of hardworking New Yorkers, and seriously stained our city’s reputation as a global cultural and economic hub. But all hope is not lost; the door is opening for significant improvements to finally be made.

    We’re now just a few short years away from the opening of Moynihan Train Hall and East Side Access. These two important projects, which will temporarily reduce the number of passengers travelling through Penn, present a brief window for significant

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  • mayors vz redesign

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    June 5, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Is Vision Zero Stalled?

    yd r marcoThe Vision Zero street safety program is one of Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature programs and its reductions in traffic fatalities one of his major accomplishments. But, pedestrian and cyclist deaths are up this year and, regardess of that spike or not, but especially because

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 74 -- 1.28 cents, Patrick Orecki [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    patrick orecki cbcNew York State is underfunding upkeep of its roads and bridges to the tune of billions of dollars a year. There are several reasons for this, and potential fixes, including a vehicle-miles traveled fee, which

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  • Trottenberg de Blasio DOT

    Trottenberg, middle, with de Blasio, left (photo: NYC DOT)


    New York needs to rapidly build more subway stops, get people out of cars, rethink its approach to parking, and keep working to drive down historically low numbers of deaths due to vehicle crashes on city streets.

    So said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner and MTA Board member Polly Trottenberg, appearing on a recent

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 68 -- 202, with City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    polly trottenberg wtdp march 2019New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg joined the podcast to discuss her tenure and approach to managing city streets and

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